Monday, October 17, 2011

Unable to squelch prosecutor misconduct allegations, John Bradley passes them off to AG

Having failed to prematurely draw to a close an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct in the Michael Morton case, Williamson County DA John Bradley has now requested a special prosecutor from the Attorney General take over the case, reports Chuck Lindell at the Austin Statesman. Earlier, Lindell had reported that:
Bradley, district attorney for the past 10 years, said he will have a role in the investigation, though he also declined to provide details, noting that the agreement is under seal.

Bradley said his association with Anderson — the two are friends who have co-written several legal books, including one still offered for sale — will not influence his actions.

"My role is to represent the state. I believe I can do so without bias," he said via email. "I will cooperate completely in providing, to the extent I have the authority to do so, the (Innocence Project) lawyers any relevant information. It matters not to me who was involved in that discovery."
But after Bradley withdrew a motion to close the investigation before discovery that he'd agreed to with Morton's lawyers was complete, now the Williamson DA says that "“Given the complexities and age of the Morton case, I wanted to make sure that we had an office and a special prosecutor with substantial experience who could carry this case forward.”

What changed? IMO, public perception, and little else. With an election coming up next year and the local Williamson County media (pdf) hammering him, Mr. Bradley is running away from this case - and the perception that he's covering his own ass and that of District Judge Ken Anderson, the first chair prosecutor at Morton's trial - as fast as he possibly can. At this point, though, it'd be impossible to run far enough for Mr. Bradley to dissociate himself from the taint of scandal caused by fighting DNA testing and the release of exculpatory evidence for so many years while an innocent man sat in prison and his wife's killer roamed free. Too little, way too late.



Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breathe for anything useful to come from the AGs office. From what I've seen they tend to do what the DAs want them to do. So, in this case, they'll probably just do a cursory investigation and determine that there is nothing to prosecute. Then Bradley can proclaim they were all vindicated.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm anonymous I'll disclose that I also made the first comment. I base that comment in part on the AGs role in the Mineola Swingers Club cases in Smith County. At one point, DA Matt (Nifong) Bingham tried to turn the case over to the AGs office after he was caught withholding evidence. The AGs office did get involved briefly, just long enough to figure out they wanted no part of the case. However, I'm sure they became aware of the serious misconduct that had occurred in the case committed by Bingham, assistant DA Murphy, and the judge, Jack Skeen. Yet, the AGs office did nothing and turned a blind eye to the abuses that resulted in several likely innocent defendants receiving life sentences (fortunately most of those have been overturned, no thanks to the AGs office). Nope, the people of Texas can't count on the AGs office to see that justice is done.

rodsmith said...

LOL what a CRIMINAL joke!

i was about to ask if he managed to keep a straight face while lieing to the press then saw it was an email release

crooked little hatefilled nazi couldn't even face his employers the VOTERS when he did it!

if this is investigated by anyone it should be an OUTSIDE independent bad as this country has become though you would probably have to go OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY!

bill said...

Amen Scott, way too little and way too late.

I also have concerns with a special prosecutor being appointed by the AG I was hoping for a Federal Prosecutor.

And speaking of the local media, The Round Rock Leader is also reporting on the Michael Morton Case. Its about high damn time. The Williamson County people typically only read about what a wonderful safe place it is and how businesses are attracted to this area blah blah blah. Between the RR Leader and the Williamson County Sun very little has been reported regarding the unethical practices of quite a few elected officals.

Anonymous said...

Over the years I have marveled at the misconduct of Mr Bradley and how it has been swept under the rug. As I stated once before in this blog, the minute that an outrageous conduct comes to light in the news, Mr Badley typically settles with the attorneys on the allegations so that the issue is removed from the public eye - and it costs the taxpaper big time every time he does that. Of course, he must have the approval of other authorities within the close knit circle of authority loop to be able to pull it off. Even trying to find old articles of such is almost impossible years down the road. It would be informative to have a list of such actions that have occurred over the years.....I remember so many. This case is especially sad because not only did an innocent person spend years in jail, a second person may have been killed as a result of their devious and unlawful behavior. It should not go unpunished or ignored, If the Williamson County residents allow it, then they are as guilty as the folks who committed the crime in my opinion. It is time to take off the blinders and see what has been going on for years while they were touting being "tough". How sad is that?
Totally unacceptable. I sure that if Mr Bradley or Mr Anderson's family member had been killed instead of Mrs Morton, they would be able to understand the depth of what their actions meant to all. I do not wish ill for any of them, but it might help them to understand what they have done if they considered walking in the other person's shoes for a brief moment.

I for one would advocate that the Courts be required to show annually the amount of funds that are expended for settlement of lawsuits filed against the courts , officials, or employees that are outside the boundaries of their authority or law. The annual budget currently lumps all that total together and represents it as a small percentage of the overall budget spent. It would have much more meaning if they were required to PUBLISH the case specific amount of selttlement, award, or other agreement amounts and the administrative costs to settle these types of things. Over the years as I watched, the amount in specific dollars expended by the tax payer is substantial and I think the Williamson County people would be surprised to see what has been going on for years and remove the blinders. I do not feel that Williamson County is tough on crime because they are not tough ALL CRIMES INCLUDING THE ONES COMMITTED BY THEIR OWN OFFICIALS AND ENTITIES. That is not justice - that is more like MAFIA rules. Unfortunately, I believe that our great nation is suffering from this sort of attitude that has been afforded to many privileged people, either via money stature or powoer afforded them via a position or public office. It is time for a change.

Anonymous said...

Williamson county stands as a contrast to Travis county. They are wrong and we are right. That's why Williamson county is often in the spotlight. While they are rightly condemned for being such a stark contrast, they are not alone. Let's face it--many Texas counties are just as backward as Williamson county.